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To be shocked at the divorce laws for same sex marriage re: adultery?

(88 Posts)
Bogeyface Wed 21-Sep-16 02:02:16

Probably am, probably everyone else knew this except me but this is taken from the website


Your husband or wife had sex with someone else of the opposite sex, and you can no longer bear to live with them.

It doesn’t count as adultery if they had sex with someone of the same sex. This includes if you’re in a same-sex marriage.

You can’t give adultery as a reason if you lived with your husband or wife for 6 months after you found out about it."

So, if you are a lesbian and your wife has sex with another lesbian then you cannot divorce her on grounds of adultery! It only counts if it is PIV sex!

I am sure, as I said, that this is just me late to the party but surely when the marriage laws where changed to allow same sex marriage then the divorce laws should have been updated at the same time? Interestingly, adultery is not grounds for ending a civil partnership, so perhaps the best thing would be to end it being grounds for divorce too in order to have parity across the board?

Bogeyface Wed 21-Sep-16 02:04:49

And, if your "straight" husband goes off cottaging of a weekend you cant divorce him for adultery? WTF?

puglife15 Wed 21-Sep-16 02:07:04


puglife15 Wed 21-Sep-16 02:09:00

Ah just found it.

That is weird.

puglife15 Wed 21-Sep-16 02:12:12

Just found this. Adultery has to be PIV. I had no idea...

Bogeyface Wed 21-Sep-16 02:13:29

Sorry, was so carried away I forgot!

WhereTheFuckIsMyFuckingCoat Wed 21-Sep-16 02:14:03

That is bizarre to say the least! So I could have a rampant sexual encounter with my female friend and my DH wouldn't have the right to class me as adulterous!? Mental.

e1y1 Wed 21-Sep-16 02:15:32

Yes I actually knew this, same sex relations are not adultery.

Someone close to me went into a relationship with a woman after many years married in a heterosexual relationship.

Her husband was saying the usual, he was citing adultery and would take her to the cleaners yada yada.

He couldn't cite adultery as it was a same sex relationship she was having/

Bogeyface Wed 21-Sep-16 02:16:44

So if a man only has bum sex with the OW, it doesnt count in law as adultery, which is insane!

e1y1 Wed 21-Sep-16 02:19:51

That's the law for you.

Should imagine this will be updated, now that same sex couples can get married.

But then again, going way way way back, divorce didn't exist.

Bogeyface Wed 21-Sep-16 02:23:20

It is discriminatory surely? If a same sex couple can marry as an opposite sex couple can, then they should be able to divorce on the same grounds.

I think that rather than change the law to accomodate differing views on adultery, it would be easier and better to remove adultery as an option.

For example, if a person had an affair with a transgender person, would their birth sex or their chosen sex be the defining one? So a woman cheating with a man, who used to be a woman, would that be adultery or not? When you start to think about it, the possibilities are endless, so I think that having the same grounds as we have for civil partnership would be best.

Bogeyface Wed 21-Sep-16 02:25:11

e1y1 have you read The English Marriage by Maureen Waller? Its a fantastic book, very sobering in parts, and gives a really good history about how divorce law has gradually evolved.

e1y1 Wed 21-Sep-16 02:39:44

I haven't bogey, but will certainly look for it.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 21-Sep-16 02:44:59

Well fuck me, I didn't know that either! Am also shock that it hasn't been updated, but ALSO that it was never included before! If your husband/wife is having sex with another PERSON then that IS adultery, regardless of what this law states - maybe it's another Victorian hangover, where lesbians didn't exist and homosexual men were depraved criminals?

So really, it should have been changed when homosexuality was decriminalised, surely?

dailyfailplagiarism Wed 21-Sep-16 02:45:20

Why do couples have to give a reason at all? Shouldn't I no longer wish to be married be enough?
Bogeys point on transgender is very interesting.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 21-Sep-16 02:46:04

bogey - re your question about trans - I would guess they would have to have had SRS and have a vagina for it to be legal adultery as defined by this thoroughly outdated law.

QueenLizIII Wed 21-Sep-16 03:03:46

you'd get them on unreasonable behaviour though. the end result is the same...a divorce. shrugs.

Bogeyface Wed 21-Sep-16 03:08:18

But female to male surgery doesnt involve a working penis does it? So would that count as a PIV if a prosthetic penis is involved even if the person has had SRS?

Daily I agree that the reason for divorce should be "Because I want one", but that aint happening for abortion either so I guess we shouldnt hold our breath.

Bogeyface Wed 21-Sep-16 03:09:47

Well yes Queen but there is a principle here surely? If 2 women or men can legally marry in the same way that a man and woman can marry then surely they should be able to divorce for the same reasons? Its discrimination.

Bogeyface Wed 21-Sep-16 03:10:24

A choice is being denied to same sex married couples on the basis of their sexuality and that is illegal isnt it?

QueenLizIII Wed 21-Sep-16 03:14:16

Alot of people dont cite adultery anyway...its inflammatory. They include it in unreasonable behaviour.

you want divorce you can get one.

Bogeyface Wed 21-Sep-16 03:20:16

So you are saying that the current adultery laws are not discriminatory Queen?

fldsmdfr Wed 21-Sep-16 03:57:08

It's very weird. My guess is that it's probably about the potential creation of children, or it was when the law was created. And the difficulty of legally defining sex once you've extended it beyond the very basic PIV idea.

It's wrong and discriminatory, and I agree that the concept isn't needed anyway. You definitely should be able to say 'I don't want to be married anymore' and that be enough.

JAPABiamtheonewhoknocks Wed 21-Sep-16 04:28:04

Perhaps "adultery" as a term is not one and the same as "cheating". But if they were to replace adultery with cheating it might prove less simple to actually define. Though it might be doable to give a list of all the sexual practises that constitute "cheating". But rather than replace adultery with cheating and go down that route, probably preferable that they just scrap the need for a formal reason, as others have suggested.

GarlicMist Wed 21-Sep-16 04:30:29

I didn't know either! Agree that it looks like a leftover. There was a massive furore when 'no fault' divorce was introduced and the acceptable grounds for unreasonable behaviour broadened to the very horizon. I can imagine lots of people chuntering about adultery being the only valid cause to divorce, so they just left it in.

There's no need for it. Should be taken out entirely: you can always put the adultery down as an unreasonable behaviour - which is what most people do anyway, due to the need for proofs of adultery.

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